This paper was printed as Chapter 5 in the GPM state-of-the-art book Dimensions of Project Management edited by H. ReschkeŠ & H. Schelle and published by Springer-Verlag in 1990. The book involved 29 authors from 16 countries and was assembled in honor of Roland W. Gutsch's 65th birthday. Roland, a personal friend, was founder and long-time leader of the International Project Management Association in Europe.

Abstract | Introduction | What is | Dimensions | Internal Culture
Corporate Culture | Influencing Environment | Internal Strategies
Surroundings | External Strategies | Stakeholders | Public Relations
Examples | Recent Projects | Consultants | Summary | References

Influencing The Project's Cultural Environment

The project manager of the successful project will recognize the need to spend some effort in influencing the project's cultural environment for the benefit of the project stakeholders. Every project team member, indeed every member of the workforce, needs to be persuaded to convey the attitude that, just as they are stakeholders, every other project stakeholder is also important. It means inculcating a universal attitude which says "We care!", and a commitment to service, even if it sometimes hurts.

It also means creating a project management environment in which every decision and action is designed to make the stakeholder's experience better than it would have been had the project not been implemented. It requires a focus on the quality of the stakeholder's experience at every stage of the project, rather than an overriding preoccupation with computer printouts and weekly progress reports.

Since this relationship mirrors the project manager/team relationship, it is clear where the process must begin. For in both the short and long term runs, it is through good team relationships that good project management practices can be achieved. By attending to what the team members need in order to perform their respective contributions, the project manager can establish effective relationships with them. These characteristics of help and support as a cohesive team are, in time, passed on to the project's stakeholders. This positive environment seldom goes unnoticed.

In developing project management strategies at the outset of the project, the project's executive should recognize the important contribution that the role of human resources development and, specifically, project management training can make towards improving the project's cultural environment. Such training provides a powerful tool in developing competency and commitment to the project, in improving team performance, and ultimately, in final project quality.

The Corporate Culture  The Corporate Culture

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